What We Know About the 2022 Season: What’s Changed, and What Hasn’t
Last week, CrossFit LLC released the complete 2022 CrossFit Games season schedule, giving athletes, fans and stakeholders the earliest look at the Games season, an ongoing request for years. In addition to the dates, the release included some key changes and adjustments to the overall qualification structure.
What’s the Same:
- The Open will be three weeks long, running from February 24-March 14, 2022
- Quarterfinals will take place shortly afterwards:
- Individuals March 24-27
- Teams April 7-10
- The Age Group Online Qualifier will still run and is set for April 21-24
- Semifinals will once again have 10 competitions spanning four weeks (May 20-June 12)
- The Last Chance Qualifier will still happen, and only be for individuals. It is once again schedule 4-5 weeks prior to the Games (June 29-July 1)
- The Age Group Online Qualifier will not be a direct qualifier to the Games this year.
- It will also include the Occupational Games; these will take place on the same dates as the AGOQ, and will be considered the “finals” for occupational athletes.
- Age Group Semifinals is being separated into two separate weekends:
- Athletes 14-49 will compete from May 26-29.
- Athletes 50 and older will compete from June 2-5.
- There is an introduction this year of an Adaptive Semifinal as well.
- It will run during June 2-5 along with the 50+ age group athletes.
- The Games will revert back to only spanning four days for all competitors (August 4-7).
Additional Notable Changes:
- The top 30 men or women in each division will advance from the AGOQ to the Age Group Semifinals.
- The Age Group Semifinals will be an online competition.
- The top 10 athletes in each division will advance to the Games.
- The top 20 athletes from EACH adaptive division will advance to the Adaptive Semifinals
- The Adaptive Semifinal will be an online competition
- Five of those divisions will crown a champion following the online Semifinal Stage
- Those five divisions are: Vision, Intellectual, Seated with Hip Function, Seated without Hip Function, and Short Stature.
- The remaining three division will send the top five athletes to the Games in Madison
- Those three divisions are the same as last year: Neuromuscular, Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity
- Following the Open, top 10% from each occupation will be invited to compete in the Occupational Games.
- Athletes will qualify for Quarterfinals and Semifinals based on their “competitive continent”.
- According to CrossFit, Citizenship will determine an athlete’s competitive continent for the duration of the season.
- They also detail that for most athletes “this will be where they live, work, and train on a daily basis.”
- CrossFit advises athletes to “plan on attending a Semifinal event hosted on their competitive continent.”
- CrossFit also included this side note this year, seemingly justifying this decision: “This method has been used by several large international competitions like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. It reduces the likelihood of athletes temporarily residing in a region in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage.”
- *Note: This is not a change from last year, but it is clearly communicated to athletes ahead of time which is a refreshing change in and of itself.
- The date for establishing residence and beginning to train with your affiliate for the season coincides with the first eligible day to register for the Open: January 13, 2022
- Note that you are not automatically added to a team roster just by selecting the affiliate
- You must either visit your athlete profile page and join the team
- OR, the athlete who registers the team may select athletes for their roster
- If you advance past the Open:
- Six athletes (three men and three women) must be declared for the Quarterfinals.
- If you were not part of the team for the Open, you are not eligible to be part of the team for Quarterfinals.
In addition to announcing details about the season for different divisions, CrossFit included a section about Supplements in this pre-season announcement.
A large portion of this section talks about the risk involved in taking any supplements and the cost involved in testing them.
They go on to suggest three companies who are well known for testing for banned substances: NSF International, Informed Sport, and Banned Substances Control Group. They also recommend The Australian Institute of Sport as a great resource for supplement-related research.
Finally they warn that it is ultimately the athlete who is responsible for what goes into their body, and that “as history has shown, even seemingly innocuous supplements can result in a positive test.”
The big picture: The timing of the announcement of these details is the big story here. CrossFit is notorious for being late to announce certain things, and even waiting until after the season has started to do so in some years. Whether you like the changes or not, everyone should be satisfied with the timing of this announcement. It gives teams a chance to plan ahead of time, and age group and adaptive athletes (in addition to individuals) ample time to assess what their season could look like, and what they want to invest in their attempt to achieve their goals for the season.